Shihan John Smith
It is with great sadness that today 9th March 2017, we have to announce the death of the ‘warrior’, Shihan John Smith, a pioneer of British Karate and founder of Bujinkai Karate.
It would be impossible to state all he has achieved, as his modesty did not allow us to know (and some of us have tried!) But some of what we do know is: Shihan Smith started his karate journey in the sixties, when karate was fairly new to this country, under Tatsuo Suzuki. During those early years he also met and trained under such people as Keinosuke Enoeda, Shigeru Kimura, and Hirokazu Kanazawa. During these times he met and trained along side the likes of Ticky Donovan, Peter Spanton, Danny Connor, Dominique Valera’ (to name but a few).
Shihan Smith tirelessly lived and breathed karate; he studied, practiced, instructed and promoted karate for some 50 years. He was also an author and promoter of karate, kick boxing and boxing events during the 70 -80’s.
Shihan Smith had great success in the competion arena, as a competitor and coach, both nationally and internationally He achieved national champion - in both Kata and Kumite, he represented Great Britain on numerous occasions and twice captained Great Britain in European Championships, and lead them once into victory. He also coached the winning team at the World Championships in 1986.
Shihan Smith introduced his own style ‘Bujinkai Karate’ to the martial arts world in 1972 which at its heights had in the region of over a thousand students in clubs all over the country, and it still continues to this day.
He will be sadly missed by all those who have met him on his journey.
Rest in peace Shihan. You will always be remembered and we will never forget what you have given to us all - Domo Arigato Gozaimashita.
Further information - firstname.lastname@example.org
It is with deep sadness that the EKF has learned of the passing of Suzanne Genery. After a period of illness, Suzanne passed away on 30th April 2012.
Many will remember Suzanne for the work she did within the EKGB. It was her tireless efforts and commitment that saw the then NGB establish itself as the lead body for karate in England, and ensured karate received the support, and recognition she felt it deserved from various sports bodies.
Suzanne was instrumental in establishing clear coaching qualifications and guidelines for karate, and help lead karate into the modern era of Sport development. Her commitment to the England squad was second to none, and it was her work that saw funding of the England squad like never before and not matched since.
She will be remembered for her positive attitude, her infectious humour and her drive to succeed. Suzanne was also an able Wado Ryu karate-ka who competed at the highest levels being a former Wado Ryu European Kata and Kumite champion. She was a senior instructor and founder of the BWKU, and though she went on to work for the British Equestrian Federation, she never lost her enthusiasm for the art.
The Board, on behalf of the EKF, extends its deepest condolences to Suzanne’s family. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
Professor Tatsuo Suzuki
Wado International Karate-Do Federation
27th April 1928 -12th July 2011
Tatsuo Suzuki decided from an early age that he would dedicate his life to training and developing Wado Ryu Karate after experiencing training with Master Hironori Ohtsuka. He was so impressed by the knowledge, experience and mastery of technique; he decided to emulate Ohtsuka’s spirit of karate and practice until he would almost fall with exhaustion.
Tatsuo Suzuki became a Sensei to many students who are spread all over the world and who will miss him for more than karate, he was a father figure to his instructors who willed and encouraged them to help one another. His standards were high in the dojo and he was not easily pleased. His students will have his phrases engrained on their memory forever as he insisted on ‘practice, practice, practice...more, more, more...again, again, again..’
Be at peace Sensei from your loyal family of students and beloved wife Eleni.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints of snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain
When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft star that shines at night
Do not stand on my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die.
Tony Utting (6th Dan)
WIKF (England) Secretary
Aquila Karate Management Ltd
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the unexpected and untimely passing of Mr Chris Mundle 6th Dan on Bank holiday 31st August. Chris 45 was an England International competitor for many years and had represented England at World and European Championships as well as other various International tournaments. Chris Mundle was the founding member of Kaizen Karate Association and had been involved in karate for nearly 30 years. In addition Chris was a celebrity Personal Trainer and had worked on TV shows such as Britain’s Next Top Model and Breakfast Television.
Chris Mundle was a true gentleman and loved by many, always positive in his outlook on life and always a joy to be around, he loved to laugh and he loved life. He was a great karateka and a dedicated father and more recently a proud grandfather. However equally as important was the impact he made to those who considered him a close friend. Chris was a great person and a great friend to many of us and he will be sadly missed.
I am sure all reading this will share my sentiment and join me in sending Chris Mundle’s family our sincere condolences and offer our support to them in this time of great sadness and loss.
God we pray that you accept one of our soldiers, God be with you R. I. P Chris, and we all miss you.
Your Karate Family.
Message from Ticky Donovan OBE
I was very shocked to hear the news of the death of Chris Mundle, and would like to say,” that I considered Chris a great member of the England squad, who always gave 100% and attended all of the squad sessions. We have lost a truly great karateka, who was someone that lived respected and now has passed on to the great dojo in the sky with much regret. I would also to send my personal condolences to the family.
Len Palmer 1921 - 2009
It is with great regret that we announce the death of Len Palmer, aged 88 one of the founding fathers of organised karate in England.
Len was a leading light in the original English governing body for Karate, the BKCC and gave many years of his life to helping the development and organising of karate in the 60’s and 70’s. He is mainly remembered for his long-term role as secretary of the British Karate Association (BKA) to which he gave much time. Len hoped the BKA would evolve on the lines of the British Judo Association, where clubs nationally could be in membership of the one national karate body and thus automatically benefit by official recognition. This was considered by Len to be important for national and international competition, also contributing to a controlled development of the sport. However, the rapid growth of karate took many by surprise so that the BKA then became just one of seven main karate groups.
In the late 1960s a murder trial took place at the Old Bailey in which the accused’s defence was that he had been taught karate and but had no idea how effective his blows could be. The trial judge recommended an official inquiry into karate which resulted in the Home Office deciding that karate activity was acceptable, but growth and development needed standards and control.
The British Karate Control Commission was formed and the British Karate Association, with Len Palmer as secretary, was a founder member of this Commission along with six other major, mainly style-based, organisations.
Len Palmer’s ideal dream of the BKA becoming the umbrella organisation to which all clubs, irrespective of style, could belong never materialised as he would have liked. Nevertheless he played an important part in the early development of karate nationally and lived to see the number of karate groups exceed 200.
He was a good administrator with a genial and pleasant manner who will be remembered by all, particularly those who experienced the rapid growth years of the 1970s. He remained interested in karate development up to his death.
Charles Naylor 7th Dan - March 15th 2007
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of senior SHOTOKAN sensei Charles Naylor 7th Dan at the age of 73. We extend all our condolences to his family. Please see the click here for a profile (courtesy of the KUGB) of this very senior KUGB instructor/official.
It is with great sadness that I learned yesterday of the passing to the great dojo in the sky of Charles Naylor Esq. Charles was an honourable man whom I always had a good deal of time for. Both he and the late, and in my view great, Derrick Langham were stalwart members of the KUGB. Karate in general and the KUGB in particular, have lost two great men, who I firmly believe will be sadly missed and hard to replace.
March 1962, students gather around the late Tetsuji Murakami following a course at the “Red Triangle” Liverpool, with a very young 4th kyu Charlie Naylor squatting 1st left. Also included in the photo are Andy Sherry, Alan
Smith, Terry Astley, Frank Cope and Fred Gille.
I would like to add my sentiments to those of Mike Dinsdale. I would offer my sincere condolences to Charlies family. Together with the great Derick Langham Karate has lost two great politicians and workers for Karate.
In my experience you could always be sure of a direct and common sense answer to any sensible question put to Charlie and he was to be respected by all irrespective of affiliation. It is a sad loss to the KUGB and Karate in general and at this time my thoughts are with his family.
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